February 24, 2017 – DUBAI, UAE: ATP world number one Andy Murray and seven time Dubai champion Roger Federer are back in Dubai for the 25th anniversary of the Dubai Duty Free Championships, and took some time out from serious practice for an impromptu match on the beach facing the iconic Burj Al Arab at the Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel today.
Murray and Federer haven’t played since the Australian Open, which saw Federer win his 18th Grand Slam title in spectacular style. With Tournament Director Salah Tahlak on hand to umpire, the beach seemed the perfect place to warm up for the ATP Tournament which kicks off on Monday 27 February.
Watch Murray-Federer Beach Tennis
Federer is happy to be back at one of his favourite tournaments, saying “I’m looking forward to playing, especially on the anniversary of 25 years here in Dubai. It’s nice to be part of a tournament celebrating something. I’ve had some great years here in Dubai, I wanted to be in good shape and ready for the conditions so I came early this year.
“The players like this tournament so much, it’s well organized, and well run with good crowds, and with the hotel and everything on site it’s so convenient.
“Today was a nice way to start the celebrations of 25 years, now I can’t wait for the tournament to start”.
Wimbledon, Olympic and ATP Finals champion Murray said “It was good fun today playing on the beach, I’ve never done that and the sun came out for us so that was a good start to the day.
“I enjoy coming to Dubai, I’ve played here a number of years. I feel fresh, I’ve had a long break since the Australian Open and I feel refreshed and looking forward to competing again”.
The 25th staging of the ATP World Tour event runs from 27 February until 4 March, and also features defending Dubai champion Stan Wawrinka, two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych and the entertaining Gael Monfils.
The WTA Tournament semi-finals will be played today, and top seed and world number two Angelique Kerber and former champion Caroline Wozniacki are one match away from a finals showdown. Kerber will play Elina Svitolina, and Wozniacki will play Anastasija Sevastova, for a place in Saturday's final. If Kerber takes her first Dubai title she will also regain the world number one ranking.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Tickets for every day of the event including the finals are still available from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud which opens from 9am to 9pm daily. Tickets are also available online through www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/tickets. For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.